The Uganda People's Defense Forces have sternly warned the National Unity Platform against blackmailing security agencies.
At a press briefing Wednesday afternoon, Brig Felix Kulayigye the UPDF Spokesperson said that for a while, Security Forces have noted the persistent attempts by some political opposition groups in Uganda to blackmail and demonize Government over false allegations of torture by Security Agencies.
"These elements have embarked on a deliberate campaign to malign the Government and attempted to isolate it at Regional and International fora, as well as among the development partners using the usual rhetoric of human rights abuses and socio-economic challenges," Brig Kulayigye said adding that, "these evil schemes continue to be propagated through the mainstream and social media platforms and agitations for civil disobedience including the so-called “ Kunga and Tulumbe Campaigns”.
Kulayigye explained that the groups, particularly the National Unity Platform (NUP) have overtime made it a norm to parade people with bodily defects occasioned by normal accidents to masquerade as victims of torture inflicted on them by security personnel.
"Recently, on 13 Feb 23, one Mwesigwa Eric was paraded before the media by NUP president Robert Kyagulanyi at NUP offices in Kamwokya, Kampala claiming that he was tortured and burnt on his chest using a flat iron by security operatives," Brig Kulayigye said.
The UPDF Spokesperson noted that contrary to the torture narrative by NUP, it has since been established that Mwesigwa Eric was lured into a deal by NUP and the wounds were inflicted on him by the same group after promising him monetary gains treatment with a sole purpose of maligning the Government.
"Unfortunately, NUP abandoned him with his wounds without treatment and pay. The Government is providing medical and psycho-socio support to Mwesigwa for full recovery, Kulayigye who was flanked by Mwesigwa and his brother remarked.
This follows other similar schemes by NUP to blackmail and isolate Government both locally and internationally.
On 17 Nov 22, over 100 NUP elements were paraded as “torture victims” at the Uganda Human Rights Accountability conference at Ufungamano House in Nairobi, Kenya.
It was later established by security that many of the paraded individuals were victims of normal accidents occasioned by Boda-bodas and other incidents. They included among others Ssebuganda Richard, who lost his hand in a student’s strike at Makerere University in 2020 and Kamuswaga Moses who was injured trying to detonate a tear gas canister in 2012.
"We therefore call upon both the local and international media to always resist lending credence to perpetual NUP lies aimed at maligning Government for political gain. Similarly, the population is encouraged to be mindful of the sustained efforts by negative elements to spread falsehoods and radicalize especially the youth into acts of violence, subversion and civil disobedience, among others," Kulayigye said.